The U.S. Federal Government is the largest consumer of goods and services, but only a staggering 5% of businesses are doing business with the U.S. Government.
Government agencies at the local, state, and federal level purchase supplies that include furniture, office supplies, food, vehicles, security systems, toilet paper, and the list goes on. Services purchased range from marketing consultants, engineers, surveyors, general contractors, trash collection, to accounting services, and much more.
In 2018, the state of Florida awarded purchase agreements for goods and services to the tune of $2.1 billion. Miami-Dade County manages 1,500 active contracts totaling approximately $4.9 billion.
A common misconception is that you have to be a large corporation to earn a piece of the procurement pie. The good news is, you don’t!
Ser & Associates works with Florida businesses to help them obtain their minority certifications and bid on government contracts. One of those businesses is Luis & Luigi Concrete, LLC, a woman-owned family business that struggled to find work their first two years in business.
“We have been certified for the last couple of years, last year creating over $400,000 in business for us, and this year that number has already doubled to over $800,000,” said Luis & Luigi Business Executive, Cesar Chavez.
Chavez says their numbers continue to grow exponentially, a prime example that government contracting is a great way to scale your business.
While a business owner can bid on government contracts without holding a small or minority certification, having one or more certifications can increase your chances of winning a bid.
“Small businesses and minority-owned business certification is the way into this huge market for many small and/or minority business owners. It is also a way to catapult your business into major government contracts by joining larger teams looking for subcontractors who are certified,” says Lillian A. Ser, Esq, Founding Managing Attorney of Ser & Associates.
Most government agencies have a minority and/or small business participation requirement or goal. For example, most Miami-Dade County bids strive for 30% minority participation, while most federal bids aim to have 25% minority and/or small business participation. Plus, minority certifications are not only for government contracts.
“Major private companies like Target and Walmart for example, have small business and minority programs providing disadvantaged companies the opportunity to do business with them. These are sometimes referred to as ‘Minority Spends’,” says Ser.
While government contracting and applying for minority certifications can be a lengthy and tedious process, being certified can be very profitable and lead to more opportunities in both the public and private sector.
Ser & Associates guides their clients through the process of earning the appropriate minority certifications and going after government bids. If you want to learn more, contact us by calling 305.222.7282.